Direct flights between Kamloops and Edmonton cancelled by WestJet

KAMLOOPS - WestJet has cancelled it’s Edmonton to Kamloops route less than a year after it started.

“With the downturn in the economy we are seeing less demand for travel to and from energy markets into areas across Canada,” WestJet media relations Lauren Stewart says in an email.

Stewart says the company based their decision on supply and demand.

Fred Legace, managing director of the Kamloops Airport, says he wasn't surprised at the news.

“Edmonton relied on people working in the gas sector,” he says. “Without that market it’s pretty difficult to sustain with just the tourist market.”

Legace says that while the tourist market is good with skiers this time of year, it wasn’t enough for WestJet to continue the route. He says the numbers have been trending down for a few months.

“In the back of my mind I knew it was going to happen,” he says.

He says there is a good relation with WestJet and the airport is in regular contact with the company.

“We appreciate and recognize this is unfortunate news for the citizens of Kamloops,” Stewart says in the email. “We will continue to evaluate the situation.”

Stewart says the Edmonton route won’t close down until March 5 and there are still going to be two flights a day between Kamloops and Calgary.

Legace says it’s still busy at the airport with winter tourism in the area, but there will be a slow down at the airport with the loss of the daily flight.

"We're going to have to hunker down for a little while," he says.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin at bkergin@infonews.ca or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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